Recipe: Dal Fry

Dal Fry is such a ubiquitous dish that it finds a place in almost every menu that offers Indian food. However, and when I think back, it is quite strange that I’ve not made this dish ever for the children and S, considering it used to be a staple in my repertoire pre-marriage! So anyway, while planning on my menu last week, I decided to make this at last and it was very well liked by everyone at home. 

This is a fairly easy dish to make and makes the dal thick, unlike traditional dals. So when you cook the dal, make sure you do not add too much water while cooking, so it retains its thickness.

Dal Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups toor dal, washed and soaked in warm water with a pinch of turmric powder for 30 minutes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large red tomato, finely chopped
  • 4-5 pods of garlic, grated or made into a paste
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated or made into a paste
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • In a pressure cooker, cook the dal for 5-6 whistles. If using the stovetop to cook the dal, cook till it is very mushy and becomes whole and smooth with a paste-like consistency. Keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat the ghee and when it warms, add the cumin seeds and carom seeds one after the other, with a few seconds of stirring in between.
  • Now add the dried red chillies and stir for a few seconds. Next add the chopped onions and stir well, letting the onions become translucent.
  • When the onions become translucent, add the garlic and ginger and let them cook for a while.
  • Now add the dry ingredients – salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir for around 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture becomes mushy and the tomatoes lose their shape and become soft.
  • Now add the cooked dal and stir well. Check for seasoning and add what is missing. Add the garam masala and let it cook for around 5-10 minutes. You can add water to make it the consistency you like.
  • Switch off the gas and add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. 

Serve hot with plain or jeera rice and a vegetable of your choice.

Recipe: Moong Dal Khichdi

Moong Dal Khichdi 3This is one of BB’s favourite dishes. I too like to make this because this is a fairly easy dish to make and since it’s a one pot dish, you don’t have many dishes to wash post cooking. This is also good to make ahead and just cook it when you need to eat. It is also very versatile as you can play around with the ingredients, especially the vegetables.

Moong Dal Khichdi 4Moong Dal Khichdi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked in water for 20-30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup yellow split moong dal, soaked in water for 20-30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 carrot, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 potato, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Method:

  • Once the rice and dal have been soaked for 20-30 minutes, drain them and keep aside.
  • Drain the peanuts and keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat the oil and saute the cumin and fennel seeds. When they pop, add the garlic and saute for a few seconds and then the ginger and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add the sliced onions and let it brown. Once the onions start browning and start to become translucent, add the other vegetables one by one.
  • Now add all the dry spices – red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the peanuts and let it cook for a few minutes and then the dal, followed by the rice, stirring in-between.
  • Transfer this mixture to a rice cooker and add 1.5 cups of water and cook till done.
  • If you are cooking this on the stove top, keep an eye on the water levels and add more water, if needed to cook the rice and dal to the consistency you like.

Moong Dal Khichdi 2This is a complete meal in itself with carbs from the rice, protein from the dal and fibre from the vegetables.

You can add other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, beans etc to increase the nutritive value of the meal as well as if you are planning to make for more people. The above recipe was perfect for a single meal for four adults.

This can be served with crisps or chips and a raita of your choice.

Moong Dal Khichdi 1

Recipes: Pumpkin Dal

Pumpkin Dal 2The other day, it was just me and BB at home for dinner. S was eating out with friends and R was also out. GG had to stay back in school and so would not have lunch with us. I was wondering what to cook for just the two of us when I saw that a quarter of an orange pumpkin which was starting to go bad. After thinking about what to make, I decided to make a dal with the pumpkin. It turned out great and is super easy to make.  There’s hardly any cooking to be done once you cook the dal and then just lightly temper it.

Pumpkin Dal 3Pumpkin Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange pumpkin or squash, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup yellow split moong dal, washed and kept aside
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

To temper:

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 2-3 red dried red chillies (optional)
  • 2 tsp ghee

Method:

  • In a pressure cooker, add the moong dal and pumpkin and pressure cook it for 3 whistles or until the dal and pumpkin are fully cooked. and
  • If you are using the stove top to cook, cook it till the dal is soft and mushy and the pumpkin is fully cooked and starts to disintegrate.
  • When the pressure cooker cools down, open and mash the dal and pumpkin together till it becomes a homogenous mixture.and
  • Add salt and red chilli powder to taste and keep aside.and
  • In a smaller pan, heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds. When it splutters, add the asafoetida and the dried red chillies (if using) and pour the tempering to the dal immediately. Cover the dal for five minutes to let the tempering infuse the dal.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or any flat bread

Pumpkin Dal 1

Recipes: Spinach Dal

IMG_0611A perennial favourite in our home, I make this quite often, sometimes as often as once a week! BB also loves this dal and even has it as a soup!

IMG_0612Spinach Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach (or any greens), chopped and washed well
  • 1 cup chana dal, soaked in water for 10 minutes and then drained
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste or 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garlic paste or 5-6 pods of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp sambar or garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Method:

  • Heat a large pan (or even the pressure cooker you plan to cook the dal in) and add the oil to it.
  • When the oil warms, add the mustard seeds and let it pop. Then add the cumin seeds and turmeric powder and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the ginger and garlic and stir each for a few seconds each before adding the other.
  • When the ginger and garlic start browning, add the onions and saute till they turn translucent.
  • Next, add the tomatoes and a bit of salt and let it cook. Add the dry masalas also at this point – red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, sambar or garam masala and amchur powder (if you are using it).
  • When the tomatoes start becoming mushy, add the spinach (or greens) and let them start wilting.
  • When the spinach starts wilting and cooking, add the soaked and drained dal and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of water and cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  • If you are not using a pressure cooker, cover and cook till the dal is completely cooked and soft.
  • Chana dal will not lose it shape unlike other dals, so check when it is done.
  • When the pressure cools down, open the cooker and check for seasoning. Add what you feel is lacking and turn off the flame.
  • Serve with any rice or flatbread of your choice.

IMG_0618

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IMG_0613

Recipe: Mixed Vegetable in Yoghurt Gravy

img_6094Usually, we stock up on vegetables on Saturday mornings. Somehow one Saturday we could not do it because of various reasons and so were resorting to using up what we had. On Friday before we stocked up on Saturday, I realised we had just a couple of vegetables and so decided to make a mixed vegetable gravy dish. Then came the zinger – there were no tomatoes in the house, and how do you make a gravy dish without tomatoes? Luckily, we always have yoghurt at home (we make fresh yoghurt at least every other day) and so I decided to substitute tomatoes with yoghurt. The dish did turn out good and lip-smacking!

img_6090Mixed Vegetables in Yoghurt Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (I used potatoes, peas and corn, though you can use pretty much any vegetable you like)
  • 1 cup frozen paneer, revived in hot water for 30 minutes and then drained. Reserve the water and use it to thin the gravy.
  • 1 cup yoghurt, thinned to around 1.5 – 2 cups
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8-10 pieces of cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 pods of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tsps red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves/Parsley to garnish

Method:

  • Cut the vegetables into even pieces and keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and when it becomes warm, add the garlic, ginger and chillies and let them stir for a few minutes.
  • Now add the chopped onions and let the onions become translucent. At this point add the cashew nuts and stir for a few minutes. Remove from the flame and let it cool completely.
  • When completely cooled, blend into a smooth paste. Try not use water, instead use some of the thinned yoghurt to give the moisture needed to blend. Keep aside for a while.
  • In the same pan, heat the balance oil and when warm, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Then add the turmeric powder and give it a stir and add the chopped vegetables.
  • Add the rest of the dry spices (chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder) plus salt and cover and cook till almost done. The vegetables should be cooked, but firm.
  • At this point, add the blended spice mixture and stir well. If the gravy is still thick, add the water you used to refresh the paneer.
  • Add the garam masala and let it come to a rolling boil. Reduce the flame and check for seasoning. Add what you feel is missing.
  • Just before you switch off the flame, take the Kasuri methi in the palm of your hand and using the other palm, crush it a bit before adding to the gravy.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves/parsley and serve hot with rice or any flat bread.

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